Environmental education at Friends School of Minnesota seeks to prepare students to become citizens and stewards of the earth. Whether on a week-long trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a nature walk in the park, or collecting the school compost, environmental education is woven throughout FSM’s K-8 experience. Here is some great news that demonstrates our community’s commitment to environmental education.

Presenting FSM Environmental Education Work

Last month, members of Friends School of Minnesota’s environmental education committee–Melissa Andersen, Linda Mockler, Steve Moe, Marshall Anderson, and Shane Zack–gave an informative and passionate presentation about our environmental education program to FSM’s school committee (FSM’s school board). In this presentation, our school committee members were able to learn more about the history  of the program at FSM. Environmental education committee members explained the intrinsic connection between Quaker education and environmental education, and provided details about how our environmental education program is a central thread in the fabric of FSM.

Friends’ schools have a special obligation to include environmental education in their programs in order to promote a sustainable future for all life.Our students should learn how they can best understand, preserve, and restore the natural processes, resources, and beauty so vital to the Earth and to humankind’s physical and spiritual health.These goals grow directly from fundamental Quaker beliefs and testimonies.” FEEN (Friends Environmental Education Network) “Statement of Purpose” adopted by FSM School Committee (2002).

Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders spend a week each fall at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center learning about Minnesota ecology.
Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders spend a week each fall at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center learning about Minnesota ecology.

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Working with Other Schools

FSM’s environmental education committee met last month with teachers from a neighboring independent school who were interested in learning more about how to begin an environmental education program at their school. We hope that this partnership will help to inspire other schools to join us on our journey.

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“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it.” David Sobel

New Environmental Club

This fall, middle school teachers Steve Moe and Melissa Andersen started a new environmental education club to provide a time and place for kids that are interested in helping the environment to mobilize and take action by working together on several projects throughout the school year. Read all about the Middle School’s New Environmental Service Club in this post from November.

Friends School of Minnesota's new environmental club made paper sharp shinned hawks for windows to keep birds from crashing into the glass.
Friends School of Minnesota’s new environmental club made paper sharp shinned hawks for windows to keep birds from crashing into the glass.

A Generous Gift to FSM Environmental Education

While all these events are fabulous in their own right, we were elated to recently receive an endowed gift of $25,000 from an anonymous donor for our environmental education program. This gift will help ensure that our environmental education program remains strong–that every student is able to attend an overnight in the wilderness, that busses will remain operational so that students can continue to access the natural wonders we have in our own back yard (like the kindergartners who recently took a trip to Minnehaha Falls), and that we can maintain our composting and recycling efforts here at school, among other things.

Composting: 6th Grade Community Service
Field trips get FSM students out into their community. Read about this fall field trip: Composting: 6th Grade Community Service

 

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Environmental education fosters a sense of wonder and connects children to the natural world.

We are so fortunate to have a faculty and school community who are committed to issues of sustainability, appreciation for our environment, and the importance of connecting the natural world to our students’ learning. These are the simple things that plant seeds of greatness. These are the simple and generous gifts that make our school great.

With Gratitude,

Latrisha Chattin, FSM head of school

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Learn more about environmental education at Friends School of Minnesota on our website.
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If you would like to support environmental education at Friends School of Minnesota, donate now.